Congratulations to Xandi Meixner for her 2 new WUCA World Records – HMMR, and HWMR
HMMR Report by Alexi
Just imagine, it has been a week since a dream of yours came true and you still can’t believe it. Your mind is jumping like crazy, cannot be settled. Your emotions alternate between the exhilaration of the magic of the past and the experienced adventures – and the emptiness, because it is over.
Actually, I just want to write everything – relentlessly. Chronologically. Structured. Realistic.
Haha, as high from all the experiences and Xandi as I am, it’ll probably just be a messy report.
So, let’s start:
At the beginning I would like to state that all characters and their names are fictitious, similarities with the people mentioned are purely coincidental.
2 days before the start of the HMMR, I sit on my indoor trainer until 10.30 p.m., start calculating. How many kilometers did I ride in the Deca Ultratriathlon per day – how long did I sleep? And what about the RAAM? Oops, I’m almost knocked off my bike, that’s never enough – what’s gotten into me? Was I drunk or excessively overconfident when I announced that I wanted to drive 13000km in 30 days??? Jump like a rocket off the bike – into our bedroom, turning on the lights and shine all our spotlights in Walter’s sleeping eye – our cats claw into Walter’s stomach in fright. „Waaaaalter, call Larry, we cancel the whole thing. NEVER in my lifetime is that going to work!“
Walter probably questioned my sanity in secret – but he only murmures: „If your dreams don´t scare you, then they are not big enough!“; turns around and continues sleeping, while the cats roll up again and I am alone again with my misery … alone alone … that’s how I will feel when I’m dripping in self-pity on the Danube Cycle Path.
On the evening before the start, a stranger contacted me on FB and wrote:“When do we start tomorrow?”
“At 3:00 in the morning – but I understand if you don’t want to come that early”.
So the first morning date was rainy and stormy, it even destroyed our supporting tent and to make things worse, after 30km at the turning point, without a mobile phone or a replacement, I had a flat tire. There it was again my self-pity…. alone alone … After a painful morning run with cycling shoes, Walter rescued me, because he missed me at the base after 25 minutes, by bringing me the “Styrian” – my spare bike – and taking over the bike-pushing running part (I assume no less cursing as I) while I could continue cycling.
Then every day the same procedure, presenile bed escape at 3:15 for my “morning date” because his punctual appearance at 4 o’clock in the morning was reason enough for me to get up that early, although I often didn’t know how the heck I get the bus off me, which apparently was parked on top of me. At some point in the last two weeks there were so many slipstream donors in the morning – whom we renamed „Storm Shadow Heroes“ due to the really strong wind – that I secretly considered lying down again without it being noticed but they noticed, I had no chance of being late.
But back to the first day – to my enormous amazement, I’m riding just a few laps alone (… alone alone….). But then, Hercules, in person, arrives – he rides his gravel bike with his son in a child seat, donating an ingenious storm shadow, up to 380W in front of me … Wtf?? Where am I? Why are they all so nice to me? But most importantly – what are they eating in this town, that everyone has such bear strength? I mean, HELLOOOO Gravelbike, kid in the back, what feels like an hurricane in the front, 380 Watts?
So right from the start, many great athletes come, support me and become real heroes. For whom no rain is too much, no wind is too strong and no temperature is too low. Heroes who become friends, who put their support for me above their own comfort, who sacrifice their valuable free and family time. Friendships develop among them, suddenly Strava acquaintances get real faces. Many beat their personal records with me. All of this gives me so much strength and support that I hardly feel my pain during the day, and I don’t even have time to feel sorry for myself (if you know me, you know what an miracle that is :-D). The daily visits from spectators develop into friendships with my team, sweet gifts are brought along and my addiction to „Mautener“ foam rolls and curd cheese is born. And a nice, something pleasant, important detail on the side – the donation box is starting to fill up more and more. The whole HMMR attempt is primarily a charity campaign for the „Herzkinder“ association (kids with congenital heart defect) and the willingness to donate, from all people who are on site or who follow the project through other channels is INCREDIBLE, generous and breathtaking! I still don’t know what to say! There isn’t a big enough THANK YOU ALL that covers it!
On some days I’m just slow – physical complaints such as knee pain and abdominal discomfort due to the chilly temperatures and an wounded „down area“ due to the wet weather require extended breaks. In the first two weeks I am soaking wet between 4 and 12 hours a day and wonder whether pedal boating on the Danube might be drier than cycling next to it. In my desperation, fearing that due to the delays, I have to ride alone until late at night to get to the daily kilometers, the 3 most beautiful words a woman can hear came from the mouth of a storm shadow hero:”as long as you want” …. is his answer to my question, how long he would stay and give me slipstream. And to hear that every day is simply an unparalleled relief (at my age, “as long as I can” is usually more common ;-)).
The nights are streaky. I actually have a break of about 7 hours. Probably due to the exertion, I am so overexcited that I can hardly fall asleep before 11 p.m. and even then, it is just a restless sleep. According to the sleep record, I only slept about 2,5 to 3,5 hours each night. When Walter was there with me, he no longer slept either, because I seem to be very restless and moaning a lot in pain. I’m glad that I didn´t notice myself – otherwise I would have to feel sorry for myself again. Spiral dynamic insoles by the ingenious Michael Wegschaider provided relief from extreme heel pain as early as the 3rd day. And a large part of the pain is represented by an knee injury that festers every day from my first accident after 3 days, which happened through my own inattention. Only when this pain is relieved by a sprained wrist and knee bruise on the other side during the second accident, do I notice, how relieving it is when the leg warmers can be taken off again without being pecked at the surface of the skin. My sisters Gerlinde and Trixi alleviate my pain with their magic hands in the evening, while Walter and especially my tiger-in-law (Father in Law – its his most loved nickname :-)), who takes care of me without a break in 30 days, have to endure my silent “gawk” in the morning, which seems unfavorable due to my bad mood.
For the sake of decency and in order to not evoke disgusting images in your heads, I will not mention the physical problems that have otherwise arisen. Long live the best homeopath in the world – Dr. Schmid in Groß Globnitz, who alleviated my symptoms and my favorite doc Dr. Walter Zobernig, who kept filling up my first-aid box with ointments and good things.
Fighting for a very special place in all of our hearts were 3 geese on the Danube Cycle Path. 3 geese, cackling and mocking, never tired of attacking us, while we apparently drive lap by lap through their living room again and again … They are very cheeky for 20 days and only when I named them Kiesenhofer, Indurain and Armstrong, are they reconciled and at least a little more cautiously. I still suspect them of hiring that brave beaver who felled that tree at one night on the first weekend and placed it exactly across the street.
From the 15th day on, the weather gets better – and that’s not the only reason why the mood rises to unimagined heights. Because my crew announces to me that on this day, I have beaten the HMMR in my age group. I can’t believe it at all – and I’m inspired. With the warmer temperatures, my knee problems also fade away, I have more strength again and the speed increases. Which is very positive, because the breaks in-between laps are getting longer – it’s just a nice and important time for me, that I can spend eating with my crew and my storm shadow heroes. A positive side effect is that in that longer break, up to 15 minutes every 2 hours I can finally replace the liquid food, which I absolutely hate, and I’m usually just drinking because it is the easiest and fastest food intake, with normal food. And gummy bears … soft gummy bears … my new addiction.
The last days fly by and I am amazed that my body heals itself under the constant strain, builds up strength again and gets used to it. I can now experience exactly what makes me do such projects. The curiosity, about how the body reacts, how it feels to do such things is partially answered – the mind controls so much again. I think of Oscar Wilde’s quote “it is important to heal the body with the soul and the soul through the body” and I can only agree with that.
And as I realize that this quote applies to me again during the HMMR, I want to express my gratitude and humility here. The humility to be allowed to have a body that makes such projects possible (I bow to the union of my parents’ genes that led to such a cocktail) and the inexpressible gratitude for this Waldviertel granite skull. But since I know that this granite is sometimes as soft as a pear of mud and could never do it alone, I would like to thank EVERYONE OF YOU, EVERYONE – you: my crew, friends and everyone who has supported me over the years and all of the storm shadow heroes who made the HMMR possible for me – and made it the most unforgettable, most beautiful, most emotionally meaningful sporting experience ever. For me it will always OUR HMMR!!
And then of course everyone who visited us on site every day and supported us – and everyone who cheered me on and supported me via social media. Thanks also to the YES sailing club for the location and the accommodation – it would have been impossible without your generosity.
I would never have dreamed of getting so much positive feedback.
I would never have dreamed that a sporting experience would make me so happy.
I would never have dreamed of feeling such solidarity.
Most importantly because I was able to experience that a common goal – namely to do something good with donations – connects.
And to all those who keep asking me why I “do” this to myself, I can only say again – because of the feeling that results from it. Thank you Reini for summarizing my feeling: “It’s vacation in me”.